June 28, 2011
Replanting, ME Newsletter, Vol.4, Issue 26
Six days off work and nothing on my perpetual list of things to do was done. Well, nothing from the long list of task accomplishments I keep. It only took me two days to wean myself off the pain meds. I didn’t know I liked it better on them until I was through with them. Anesthesia and mind altering drugs are a powerful combination. My world became even smaller for a short period of time. I didn’t care as much about being alone. Of course, I would have said I didn’t care about it all before my surgery. But now I know better.
The pepper plants I thought were started too much late turned into pale green sprouts. Uprooting the natural bed where seeds were randomly and not purposefully planted isn’t easy. I worry about separating the seedlings, knowing some of them have only survived because of the shelter provided by the stronger ones, Yet, they’ve all been working to bring their heads out of the dirt, and toward the sunshine despite the fact that it’s been missing from Michigan since February, it seems.
Two packets not carefully sown into to two little six-inch containers; I truly didn’t have much faith, but two weeks ago I set them on the balcony anyway. They surprised me today, after a week away from my life. Thirty or more little lives on autopilot. It never ceases to amaze me inch how dried pieces of former life rejuvenate. I know they won’t survive the haphazard way I sprinkled the seed into the pots. Tight groupings don’t allow for growth. So, even though I just finished polishing my nails, and its 7:00 pm, I’m glad I over-bought bagged soil. So, they’re still in the same space but in a different place.
Scattered in a roomier one-by-three flower box, they look even more delicate. Environmental shock is hard for even the hardiest to handle. But then, our heartiness is what makes us keep growing even when we don’t like where we’re planted; even when conditions are less than ideal. I have a three-tiered wire pot stand I’ve placed over the seedling. I imagine when they grow tall enough, I could help them stay strong by weaving them through the wires for additional support. And yes, I know for a fact that some won’t make it.
Replanting means shedding weaker roots. They’ll be the ones better let go, just like our weakest parts. It’s painful to watch them wither, but it seems clear that we’re meant to step away from them. Keep them from sucking up resources, and in return giving ourselves more space. Seeking GOD isn’t always an upward motion. Sometimes you’ve got to give into the firm anchorage of your strongest convictions. Throw away the weak offshoots. Allow your good roots to run deeper.
June 22, 2011
Non Legal Pour Le Commerce
(Disclaimer: Fair Warning! Not for The Faint of Heart!)
Courtesy of IKEA, I have become much too familiar with the above statement tattooed on the side of my bathroom scale – the side which faces the commode.
You see, I’ve spent a lot of time on that particular piece of furniture today. Day four following surgery, and no complications, until now. Or this morning to be more precise, although I feared I was headed this way yesterday. I also didn’t realize until about noon today, what exactly the medication was that was missing when I went to the pharmacy to pick it up. I vaguely remembered the doctor saying there would be two prescriptions.
But, when I went to pick them up, sixteen hours later, and in the possession of two new prescriptions, there was only one. No trace of the other mystery med or Rx behind the counter. Since I was still a bit loopy, and the med that was waiting was the exact same one as the new prescription, I just blinked and said, “Ok.” The second Rx I turned in before discharge was for an anti-nausea medication. They for sure did not want me to vomit and rip open my super-glued incisions.
Anyway, no nausea, no pain; until today. My lower belly started to hurt, and I started to strain, and quickly tried to determine if the plethora of blue spots on my belly were left over bruising coming to the surface or new bruises because I tore something. Due to the vaguely yellowish tinge of the area, I decided it was old bruising.
Still… ouch. Ok. Childhood advice to a young me with belly issues was to always “Lay on your stomach.” That did not work. The non-sutured super-glue crusted bulge of angry skin that used to be a cute belly button cursed aloud when I tried that. Ok. Next attempt: legs up, feet on the arm of the sofa, forming a 90 degree angle to the belly. Thankfully, some gaseous matter escaped, alas nothing else moved along. Not after coffee. Not after milk, not after Raisin Bran.
Pushing fluids ensured my kidneys were functioning fine and my bladder was working, often. However, about 1:00 pm, it occurred to me what the missing link was: stool softener. I think I remember that the pharmacy would not fill the RX because I did not need one for it. I wish I had remembered that then. Homebound, unsure if it would be proper protocol to ask a friend to stop by somewhere and get me some of the embarrassing stuff, I was saved by a lovely lady who asked if she could come by with lunch.
I responded honestly, “Oh, hello. Have no idea what time you really sent this message because it says 3:39 PM but it's only 1:51 PM. Been lying down. Although today is not a good day for solid food, if you're not opposed to it, I could probably use some sort of intervention for constipation in the form of softener pills. Or maybe a Frosty. One of course is more appealing than the other.”
Because she is a marvelous friend, she agreed. It’s now 2:45 and I’ve skipped a dose of pain meds because that is most likely causing the issue. I’ve taken Motrin and now I’m at the dull-roar stage on the pain scale. I’ve convinced myself to attempt to nap until salvation arrives.
However, as luck would have it there is another nasty residual effect to prolonged pain medication. My previously aloof, non-demanding cat has turned into an attention grabbing monster. Each trip to the lavatory became an adventure as I belatedly realized that the vanity bulb lights reflect through my glasses projecting nice little dots of attack worthy amusement on the shower curtain. If I perchance removed my spectacles before using the facilities, I received an incredulous look accompanied by a harsh where the hell is my game meow. Every time I stood up, I was the victim of Miss Fred’s intentional herding. To the kitchen – I want milk! To the porch – I want Oat Grass. To blazes with you for unseating me – I was cat napping there!
It’s 4:00 pm and I believe I am in danger of morphing into my cat as my efforts have resulted in little more than cat-litter size droppings. (Please don’t forget, I warned you! You’re too far in now, might as well continue.)
So, the Motrin resembling little innocuous bottle arrived at 5:00 PM. Much joyous noise was made. Bifocals on – where are the directions? Thank goodness for non-medicated friends. Apparently, you are supposed self-deduce that you should peel back the label for directions. In my state, I never would have figured that out. Further vague directions – take 1-4 tablets? Works in – what??? 6 to 12 hours? Are they kidding?
“No,” my perpetually calm friend announced. “There were bottles that said worked within 12 – 72 hours. And bottles that said ‘super fast, super strength.” She went with the medium road, and I decided it was a good path to take. I took two.
So, 7:30 PM: I hear thunder, though the summer storm has already passed through an hour ago. My innards are telecasting the soundtrack from Jurasic park. The reaction of the raisin bran, the carriage of the coffee, the milk becoming magnesia, the power of panic, the frigidity of the frosty, the purposefulness of the pills? 6-12 hours my pupik! I’ve only recently learned that this is a technical Yiddish term for a chicken’s butt. So, I guess the whole chicken thing started way back with my grandparents.
In the midst of my unexpected but delightfully speedy relief, miss fred treated me to a kitty face I’ve seen before. Talli short for Tallica short for Metallica was another rescue. He and I were a pair long before I met my husband. As a forn of self-introduction Talli stuck his nose into one of Jeff's shoes and came out with a possessed feral look that telegraphed his extreme displeasure in my choice and gave us both the creeps. Only Miss Thing went a bit further and snuck her nose between my knees and the seat. And there it was – the universal cat "holy cow you’re kidding right" look of disgust. She shook her head as she backed away curling her lip up to cover her nose and baring fangs in the process. I laughed because I felt the same way.
Now, I’m kinda wondering if I’m going to swing completely the other way. Oh, I sure hope not. Non legal pour commerce – Not intended for trade!
June 21, 2011
That aren’t really there
Like angels in abstract art
Or dancing dogs in curtain shadows
Or reading into simple words
Not seeing things
That are really there
Like subtle sparkles of grey
Or spots of color hidden by foundation
Or wrinkles only when I smile
Seeing it all
From the camera’s eye perspective
Better in black and white
Romanticized in sepia
Always flawed in true color
June 14, 2011
Proportion, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 24
Did you ever have the feeling that your life would be easier if you didn’t have one?
I mean one not full of obligations and chores and others’ expectations?
Asking me to predict how I am going to feel at any time or regarding any matter (emotionally or physically) is completely pointless. I don’t know how I’m going to feel one minute from now. Trust me; it’ll be just as much a surprise to me as it will be to you.
In my current state-of-mind, I’ve become a bit skeptical of the appropriateness of the saying, “GOD never gives us more than we can handle.” I swear, sometimes it’s like my name is on the list twice, or three times. Maybe that’s because women change their names when they marry, or maybe it’s because I chose another name for myself for a decade and a few more years. Makes sense, doesn’t it? There must be some sort of heavenly clerical bookkeeping programming error. I can’t think of any other reason why it seems I’m continual heaped upon.
Fair warning: cranky-meter is registering a solid 10. So, don’t even consider starting in on me with that “stress builds character” nonsense. If that’s the case, than I’m a freakin’ skyscraper of character: built up to top-heavy near toppling-over proportions. With that in mind, there is something to be said for keeping everything in proportion. So, perhaps, in a few days, when surgery is complete and I’m resting (hopefully obliviously), I’ll be better able to consider thinking about how I might be thinking about feeling… someday. I have a feeling though, that’s not what I’m going to be thinking. Anybody have any thoughts on this?
June 06, 2011
Squinting, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 23
Patience is a virtue.
Sometimes it’s one of mine. I can wait. Weighing choices, delaying decisions; these things take patience. Which means, according to logic of my world, procrastination must be a virtue, too.
Sometimes, though, it’s not one of mine. Like when I’ve finally made a decision, mapped out a future. Unpredictably, like the stair cases at Hogwart’s, the patterns of my life shift around me, delivering me into unfamiliar territory. That’s when all my virtue tends to disappear.
It flies away completely, leaving only the residue of foot stomps on my trampled angry heart. I scrutinize my world through squinted vision, trying to narrow the source, trying to pinpoint the answer. I only surmise, through experience, squinting gives me a headache.
So, a short stagnation, it has to be. I won’t tolerate much more delay. I’ll react and rebel if my decisions are uprooted by this tornado of events. I won’t allow them to be tossed into the recycle pile. “Someday” has to be coming soon. Probably not entirely on my terms - nothing ever really is anyway. So, I’d best remember that. I’ll stay in the game for now, waiting to see how it all plays out before I decide to test the water again. Before I spring back into action.
Up and floating down
Occurs without a sound
Crashing hard through
Your walls and mine
Hurts to have to
Work so hard for you
But every little piece
Feels so good
An internal burst
Of short lived sunshine
Means I’m falling harder
Than I planned to;
Knowing I should be
More concerned about